Since 2017, Unbothered — R29’s popular channel dedicated to Black excellence — has given a platform for Black folks from all around the world to be seen and heard. The fast-growing vertical has been a safe space for the Black community, highlighting the beauty, strength, and spirit of the voices within it. After five years, it felt right to properly celebrate Unbothered and the community it has cultivated. And what better way to do that than to bring the online franchise to real life? Enter: Unbothered Live: The Glow Up.
The two-day event, which took place over Juneteenth weekend in Atlanta, treated more than 3,000 Unbothered fans to a packed itinerary that featured live entertainment (and performances from artists like Kelis and Latto), a roller skating rink with a live DJ set and skating demos, a CBD-infused sound bath meditation, plus roundtable talks, panels, entrepreneurial workshops, content creation studios, and more.
"Our fifth anniversary is a milestone moment [for the franchise]," says Chelsea Sanders, vice president of brand strategy and development for R29 Unbothered. "We’ve wanted to bring a live experience to our audience for a long time — with folks emerging from their pandemic bubbles and at a crucial time when joy is necessary and needed, there was no better time to celebrate our community."
Championing Black beauty is at the heart of Unbothered, so naturally, the event also included some pretty major Ulta Beauty-sponsored activations, like The Glow Up Bar, which shined a spotlight on Black-owned beauty brands and provided hair touch-ups and makeovers for guests. And one of Unbothered’s most beloved franchises — Wash Day — was brought to life as an onstage session with Kahh Spence and Serayah at the Woosah Pavilion, the same hub that also hosted a live dialogue between Asia O'Hara and Princess Ali about gender fluidity in beauty. The programs not only highlighted leaders within the Black beauty community, but gave attendees the chance to celebrate themselves — and their glow-ups.
“The Glow Up was everything the culture needed,” says Unbothered’s Sandy Pierre. “[It was] a celebration of Black excellence and the true definition of community.”
Watch the video, above, to get a closer look at Unbothered’s first-ever in-person event.